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Form 16 Due Date: Timeline For F.Y. 2023-24?

Updated: Jun 7


Form 16 Due Date: Timeline For F.Y. 2023-24

As the deadline for the ITR filing approaches for F.Y. 2023-2024, salaried individuals across India are focusing on one of the most critical documents for tax filing, that is, Form 16. This certificate is issued by the employer. It not only provides details of an individual’s salary and deductions for the year but is also an important element for smooth and accurate tax filing. Knowing when you can expect to receive Form 16 is critical for planning other tax-related activities and ensuring you meet your filing deadlines with no last-minute rushes. This article will explore key dates with respect to the availability of Form 16 for F.Y. 2023-24, what delays might occur, and how one can effectively manage one's tax filing schedule around these timelines.

 

Table of content

 

What is Form 16?

Form 16 is a document that an employer issues to employees for the tax deducted at source. It certifies that TDS has been deducted from employees' salaries and is deposited with the income tax authorities of India. The document is issued under Section 203 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. 


Role in Tax Filing: 

  • Proof of Income Tax Deduction: Form 16 serves to validate the tax deduction from your salary and gives details on the amount of tax paid to the government on your behalf. 

  • Necessary for Income Tax Return Filing: This form contains detailed information required for filing your income tax return. The form details the taxable salary of the employee, their deductions claimed, and taxes paid. This greatly helps reconcile tax liabilities and the preparation of one's annual tax return. 


Components of Form 16: 

Form 16 has two parts, both serving different purposes: 


  • Part A: 

  • Details of the Employer and Employee: It contains the TAN and PAN of the employer, PAN of the employee, address, and summary of the tax deducted and deposited quarterly. 

  • Details of TDS: It reflects a summary of tax deducted by the employer and deposited with the government, certified through a unique TDS Certificate number. 

  • Validity: It is generated and downloaded from the TRACES portal, making it a standardized and verifiable document. 


  • Part B (Annexure):

  • Detailed Breakdown of Salary: The information in this part includes the detailed break-up of the salary paid, like the gross salary, allowances exempt under Section 10, deductions under Section 16, and other deductions applicable under various sections of the Income Tax Act, such as Section 80C, 80D, etc. 

  • Tax Computation: It outlines the computation of the tax to be levied from the employee's salary, taking into account the various deductions and exemptions that the employee has claimed. It will also show the net tax liability after considering all the deductions and education cess.


Legal Requirements for Form 16 Issuance


The governing section of Form 16 is Section 203 of the Income Tax Act, 1961. The act makes it mandatory for all employers who deduct tax at source from salary to issue this certificate. The certificate shall be used by the employee to prove the amount of TDS deducted from his salary, thereby helping him to comply with his tax obligations. 


Statutory Guidelines: 

  • Mandatory Issuance: Every employer who deducts TDS from the salary of his employees has to issue Form 16, mentioning therein the amount of salary paid and TDS deducted therefrom. 

  • Accuracy and Completeness: Employers will have to ensure that the information in Form 16 is accurate and complete. This will involve checking that the employee's PAN is correct; the amount of salary paid is correctly shown, and the tax deducted is accurate. 

  • Digital Signatures: Employers can also issue Form 16 in digital signature format in addition to paper format, if desired. If issued in a digital signature, Form 16 will have to adhere to the prescribed procedure of digital signatures to ensure authenticity and integrity of the certificates. 


Overview of the Deadlines Set by the Income Tax Department of India for Employers to Comply 

The Income Tax Department has set specific deadlines for the issuance of Form 16 to ensure timely compliance and to facilitate smooth tax filing for employees. These deadlines are of prime importance to both the employers and the employees as it directly affects the tax filing schedule.


Deadlines: 

  • Due date: Form 16 is supposed to be issued by 15th June of the subsequent year following the end of the financial year. For the financial year 2023-24, for example, the due date for issuing Form 16 would be June 15, 2024. 

  • Penalty for delay: Delay in issuing Form 16 within the due date would result in penalties as per the Income Tax Act. The employer could be charged with a fine of INR 100 for each day of delay. However, the maximum penalty cannot exceed the amount of tax deducted.


Form 16 Due Date: Timeline For F.Y. 2023-24?

The timeline for issuing the Form 16 is quite important for both the employers and employees so that they can ensure compliance with tax obligations and facilitate timely filings of tax. The specific dates, factors that affect the issuance of Form 16 for the financial year 2023-24, are as follows: 


Specific Dates for Issuance of Form 16

For the financial year 2023-24, which ends on March 31, 2024, the employers are required to issue Form 16 to their employees before the stipulated deadline: 


Deadline for Issuance: June 15, 2024.

This date is set to provide employees sufficient time for preparing and filing their income tax returns before the due date, which is usually July 31, unless extended by the Income Tax Department.


Factors Influencing the Timing of Form 16 Issuance:

Several factors can influence whether Form 16 is issued on time or experiences delays. Understanding these factors can help both employers and employees manage expectations and prepare accordingly: 


  1. TDS Reconciliation and Verification: The employer has to reconcile the TDS amounts deducted throughout the year and ensure all payments are accurately reported to the Income Tax Department. Delays in reconciliation or discrepancies in TDS amounts can delay the preparation and issuance of Form 16. 

  2. Technical Issues with Filing Platforms: Technical glitches or system downtimes in the government's TDS filing system (TRACES) can delay the generation and distribution of Form 16. These platforms sometimes experience high traffic close to filing deadlines, leading to slower processing times.

  3. Employee Data Management: Inaccuracies in employee data, such as mismatches in PAN details or incorrect salary computations, can necessitate revisions in the TDS records and thereby delay the issuance of Form 16.

  4. Compliance with Digital Signature Requirements: Form 16 needs to be digitally signed by the employer. Issues with digital signatures or obtaining the necessary digital signature certificates can also lead to delays.

  5. Administrative Delays: Sometimes, delays in the processing and release of Form 16 can occur due to internal administrative delays or simply because of oversight by the payroll or HR department of an organization.


Common Reasons for Delays:

  • Staffing Problems: In larger organizations, if the payroll team is not fully staffed, this could mean that it takes a little longer to process all TDS records and thereby generate Form 16 for each and every employee. 

  • Late Deposits of TDS: If the employers have not deposited TDS with the government on time, the reconciliation process may get delayed and, hence, may result in delayed issuance of Form 16. 

  • Regulatory Changes: Further, last-minute changes in the TDS regulations by the Income Tax Department may also cause delays, as employers scramble to reconcile their books of accounts with the new guidelines.


What Happens if Form 16 is Delayed?

Tax Form 16 delays result in a significant challenge for employees in filing taxes correctly and on time. An employee can understand what is happening because of this delay and the steps one can take to minimize the problems. 


How Delayed Form 16 Affects Employees' Filing of Taxes:

  • Late Filing of Tax Returns: The absence of Form 16 may delay employees from filing their income tax returns before the due date, as it misses crucial information on the precise TDS deductions and breakup of the salary. 

  • Wrong Filing: Filing a tax return without Form 16 could be erroneous or incorrect, as the employees may not recollect or actually know the exact figures about the TDS and exemptions. This could result in incorrect calculations of taxes.

  • Penalties and Interest: If the late receipt of Form 16 delays the filing of income tax returns, the employee may be burdened with late filing fees, interest levies, and other penal actions, depending upon the extent and purpose of the delay.

  • Increased Stress and Inconvenience: The uncertainty and risk of having to do their tax filings at the last minute could cause a lot of stress for the employees.


Steps to Take if an Employer Fails to Provide Form 16 on Time 

  1. Contact HR or Payroll Department: Reach out to your employer's HR or payroll department to inquire about the delay. There may be a valid reason for the delay, or it may have been an oversight that can be quickly corrected. 

  2. Gather Substitute Documents: Collect alternative documents such as pay slips, bank statements showing salary deposits, and TDS certificates (Form 16A) if available. These can help reconstruct the necessary information to file your taxes. 

  3. Use Form 26AS: Download your Form 26AS from the Income Tax Department's e-filing website. Form 26AS contains details of all taxes deducted on your behalf and can serve as a reference to verify the TDS amounts when filing your taxes. 

  4. File Taxes Based on Estimates: If necessary, file your income tax returns based on the best available data by the deadline to avoid penalties. You can amend your tax return later if there are discrepancies once you receive your Form 16.

  5. Request a Written Explanation: Ask your employer for a written statement explaining the delay. This can be helpful if you need to explain the situation to tax authorities and show that the delay was beyond your control. 

  6. Consult a Tax Professional: If you are unsure about how to proceed, consulting a tax advisor may be beneficial. They can help you file your taxes correctly using alternative documents and advise on any potential implications of filing without Form 16.


Filing ITR without Form 16

Form 16 is an important document required for salaried employees when filing income tax in India. However, delays or nonavailability must not delay your tax filing process entirely. With proper preparation and alternative documentation, one can still ensure an accurate and timely tax submission. Here is how you can prepare your tax return if Form 16 is delayed or unavailable, and what alternative documents you can use.


How to File ITR without Form 16?

  • Gather Alternative Documents: The first step is to gather other documents that support income and tax details similar to those highlighted on Form 16. 

  • Payslips: Gather your payslips for all the months in the financial year. The payslips usually indicate your gross income, deductions, and net income, which are important inputs in calculating your taxable income. 

  • Download Form 26AS: You can download Form 26AS from the TRACES website or through your internet banking where you have registered your PAN. The form is a comprehensive tax statement that includes all tax-related information, TDS deducted by the employer, advance taxes paid, and self-assessment taxes. 

  • Reconstruct the Income Details: Using your payslips, you can calculate your total taxable salary, deductions under various sections like 80C (investments, insurance, tuition fees), 80D (medical insurance), etc., and any other applicable deductions which you are aware of. 

  • Verify TDS with Bank Statements: If your employer has deducted TDS, it should reflect in your bank statements as well. Bank statements can help in confirming the accuracy of the TDS amounts shown in Form 26AS. 

  • Seek Professional Help: If you are unsure about any of your calculations or need help filing your returns without Form 16, then it is highly advisable to approach a tax expert. The tax expert will ensure that your tax return is accurate and fully compliant with the tax laws.


How to Verify Form 16 Details with Form 26AS?

Form 16 and Form 26AS reconciliation is an essential step in tax compliance. Form 26AS is a consolidated tax statement which is available to taxpayers from the Income Tax Department. It reflects all tax-related information including TDS, advance tax, and self-assessment tax related to a taxpayer's PAN. Here is a step-by-step process for reconciling the TDS details in Form 16 with that in Form 26AS:


Step-by-Step Process to Reconcile TDS Details


  1. Access Your Form 26AS: 

  • Via Income Tax e-Filing Website: Log in to the e-filing website of the Income Tax Department (https://incometaxindiaefiling.gov.in). Go to the 'My Account' tab and select 'View Form 26AS (Tax Credit)'. You will be redirected to the TRACES website where you can view or download the form. 

  • Via Net Banking: Many banks provide access to Form 26AS for customers whose PAN is linked to their bank account. Log into your net banking portal and check if this facility is provided under the tax or service tab. 


2. Download and Open Form 26AS: Download the Form 26AS for the relevant financial year and open it. This document is password protected, and the password is usually your date of birth in DDMMYYYY format. 


3. Review TDS Details in Form 26AS: Look for the 'Part A' of Form 26AS which lists all TDS deducted on your salary. This section provides details of the TDS deducted by each employer, along with the TAN of the employer, the amount of TDS deducted and deposited, and the dates of such transactions. 


4. Compare with Form 16: Open your Form 16 and compare the TDS details (TAN of the employer, total income credited, and tax deducted) provided there with the details in Part A of Form 26AS. Ensure that the amounts and dates match in both documents.


5. Identification and Resolution of Discrepancies: Contact your HR or payroll department in case of any discrepancies in amount or missing entries to rectify the errors. The discrepancies can be due to late filing or deposit of TDS by the employer, or incorrect information regarding PAN/TAN.


FAQ

Q1. What is Form 16?

Form 16 is a certificate issued by an employer in India to his employees. Form 16 provides the details of the salary paid and tax deducted at source (TDS) on the employees salary during the financial year.


Q2. When is Form 16 typically issued for F.Y. 2023-24?

The employers are required to issue a Form 16 by 15th June 2024 for the financial year 2023-24.


Q3. Why is June 15 the deadline for issuing Form 16?

This is to enable the employees to have enough time to prepare and file their income tax returns, which are due by 31st July, unless extended by the Income Tax Department.


Q4. What if I receive my Form 16 after June 15, 2024?

Contact your employer to understand the reasons for delay. Since the delay in receipt of Form 16 will create a rush in filing your tax return.


Q5. Can the employer face penalties for delayed issuance of Form 16?

Yes. An employer can be penalized with a fine of INR 100 per day until the salary certificate is issued, but the penalty shall not exceed the amount of TDS.


Q6. What should I do if I haven't received my Form 16 by the due date?

Contact the HR or payroll department in your office to ask the reason for such a delay and remind them of the legal deadline.


Q7. Can I file my ITR without Form 16?

You can still file your taxes by other documents in the form of payslips, bank statements, and Form 26AS to calculate your income and deductions.


Q8. How do I know that the TDS has been deposited by my employer with the government?

You can check it through your Form 26AS from the TRACES website or your internet banking account, which presents the details of TDS credit against your PAN.


Q9. What details from Form 16 do I need to file my income tax return?

You will be required to add details about your total taxable salary, deductions under Section 80C, other permissible deductions, and total tax deducted in the whole year.


Q10. Has there been a change in the issuance of the Form 16 process for F.Y. 2023-24?

Till now, no changes are reported in the process of issuance of Form 16 for F.Y. 2023-24. It is the responsibility of the employer to prepare and distribute Form 16 within the due date using the details recorded in his TDS.





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